|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:8-14 It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty.
Verse 14. - And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever. (On the signification of the four beasts as representative of creation, and the four-and-twenty elders as typical of the Church, see on Revelation 4:4 and 6.) Three stages are marked in the hymn of adoration before this concluding verse:
(1) the four living beings and the four and twenty elders worship the Lamb, and commemorate their redemption by him; they are able to sing "a new song" - the song of the redeemed;
(2) the angels join in the worship of the Lamb, ascribing to him the consummation of all perfection;
(3) then all created things praise God and the Lamb. In conclusion, the representatives of redeemed creation once more join in the eucharistic hymn, and prostrate themselves in worship before the Triune God. This forms the end of one act of the heavenly drama. The opening of the seals now follows, and a description of the attendant circumstances is given.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the four beasts said, Amen,.... Giving their assent to what the angels and every creature said, and expressing their desires and wishes that so it might be, and also their faith, that so it was, and would be:
and the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever; either God the Father, who sat upon the throne, and is so described, Revelation 4:9; or else the Lamb who had been slain, and was now alive, and lives for evermore; or both of them, for the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, and the Syriac and Arabic versions, omit the words "him that liveth for ever and ever"; and leave it to be understood of either of them, or both; and the Ethiopic version reads, "and the elders worshipped him"; as the four living creatures and four and twenty elders led the chorus, and begun the song, so they close it, as being the persons more immediately concerned in the death and sufferings of the Lamb, and redemption by him, and in the sealed book, and in the things contained in it; the seals of which are next opened, and an account is given of them in some following chapters.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. said—So A, Vulgate, and Syriac read. But B and Coptic read, "(I heard) saying."
Amen—So A reads. But B reads, "the (accustomed) Amen." As in Re 4:11, the four and twenty elders asserted God's worthiness to receive the glory, as having created all things, so here the four living creatures ratify by their "Amen" the whole creation's ascription of the glory to Him.
four and twenty—omitted in the oldest manuscripts: Vulgate supports it.
him that liveth for ever and ever—omitted in all the manuscripts: inserted by commentators from Re 4:9. But there, where the thanksgiving is expressed, the words are appropriate; but here less so, as their worship is that of silent prostration. "Worshipped" (namely, God and the Lamb). So in Re 11:1, "worship" is used absolutely.
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